God's word in today's world

Worried? God never lets go!


Philippians 4:1-9

Wow, we’ve spent some time discussing worrying and God, but there’s more. This is good, because I think most of us, if not all of us, are flattened by worrying now and then. We do not succeed in sidestepping the stress that the world throws at us.

We have to get to the school for the children’s prize-giving. Our daughters have to be there 30 minutes ahead of time and they can’t be late. We get to town and the traffic is chaotic. I cannot believe this is what the town looks like on a Monday evening. Then the bomb drops: It’s Varsity Cup. I realize we’re in trouble.

Calmly I sit and wait for the guy in front of me to drive forward a little.

Worried voices from behind me start picking up speed. The slower we move, the more audible the stress. Even my wife drops a comment or two. As we drive and stress, I realize that stress can do nothing to solve the problem. It doesn’t matter how much the three women in the car are stressing, even if they put all their stress together, it will have absolutely no effect on the time it will take us to get to the school. No, all that the stress will do is to get them to their destination with much less energy and much more irritation.

Sometimes we have to make peace with the situation in which we find ourselves. Sometimes there is very little that we can change about a situation. At times like these we should rather use our energy to talk to God. Then the energy we use will not draw amps on negative things like stress that will anyway not help us at all. No, it’s a much better option to focus our energy and thoughts on God.

Take the promises that Paul lived: 9… God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Hearing this promise gives you energy. You take courage again. You feel up to tackling that mountain in front of you. You feel up to tackling that elephant in the room.

If you know that you don’t have to take on the crisis alone, things don’t look that dark anymore. Know that you are not alone, even if it feels like it. Know that God is with you through his Spirit, even though you have fallen down. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, you cannot get rid of the Holy Spirit just like that. That is why you can feel safe in an unsafe world. That is why you can tackle any big problem and know that you are not alone.

I pray with friends about a stressor in my life and as I pray, I realize that my stress is caused by the fear that too few people might come to help with the arrangements for the planned tour. In whom is my hope? In the people, but people fail and disappoint.

In that moment I make a mind shift and say to God that I would much rather take his hand. He is indeed stronger, wiser and has so many more plans than all the people on earth. I calm down and know that all is under control, because God is with me. He will help me. He will keep me safe. With Him I will be happy.

May we focus on God, so that he will give us new strength to take on the challenge before us with a courageous heart.

Reflection

What are you worried about?

Are you talking to God?

What is the possible that you can do?

Prayer

Lord, thank you for being the Prince of Peace who is always with us. Thank you for blessing us with peace in all circumstances. Please help us to be faithful to your word and to live according to your guidelines, because that is when your peace flows over us, irrespective of the circumstances. Amen.

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